HLC Reaffirmation Message

umkc logo with blue background

April 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to inform you that, thanks to your hard work and commitment, UMKC has received across-the-board affirmation in all categories from the Higher Learning Commission. As a result, we will continue as a fully-accredited university for another 10 years before our next reaffirmation process, scheduled for 2029-30.

Every member of our university should be proud of this result. Among the observations noted by the review team are the following:

  • Our mission is clear and guides our operations, and this was evident through the many interactions on the Volker and Health Sciences campuses during the site visit.
  • UMKC brings a historical awareness of the importance of access to education, and the challenges of systemic barriers to opportunity, in its diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • The visiting team’s conversations with UMKC personnel and students confirmed that our institution is deeply committed to its public-service mission.
  • The university operates with integrity in all financial and academic functions.
  • It was apparent that the university (and the UM System) support freedom of expression in teaching, learning, and scholarship.
  • The review team found that the institution had the commitment for ongoing educational achievement and improvement through assessment of student learning and that this commitment is part of the institutional culture.

Again, thank you for the time and effort you invested in this vitally important process. I know we can’t get together to celebrate in-person, but that day will come. I look forward to gathering with you in the not-too-distant future to raise a toast to our success!


C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D.        Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D.
Chancellor                                Interim Provost

University of Missouri-Kansas City | Kansas City, MO 64110 | (816) 235-1000
UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Provost Thank You

From: UMKC Provost <provost@umkc.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 6, 2019 8:50 AM
To: UMKC Faculty <KCFaculty@umkc.edu>
Subject: HLC Thank You

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for the time and effort you gave to participating in the many HLC reaccreditation site visit activities on Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks especially to all who served on the HLC Planning Committees, and to the HLC Executive Team, including co-chairs Cindy Pemberton and Ken Novak, Vice Provost Kelli Cox, Project Manager Alexis Petri and HLC liaison Ruth Cain for their excellent work on this critical initiative.

During our debrief with the site visit team, Chair John Campbell and the team members let us know how impressed they are with what they found at UMKC, and reminded us that we have much to be proud.

Specifically, the team noted:

  • The deep and clear commitment of everyone they met to our public urban research mission, to our students and to our community.
  • The recognition and buy-in across the board to grow and better serve our undergraduate students, as we continue to learn and understand exactly what shape this work needs to take.
  • Our recognition of the challenges we have faced and continue to face in terms of finance, retention, and enrollment, and our steadfast commitment to facing these challenges and rising above them, and the impressive way these challenges have brought the campus closer together and more focused on our shared future vision.
  • We’ve built a sense of trust and respect over the past five years – for data, for process, for governance, and for people.
  • The sense of dedication, responsibility, and commitment to the work of making significant change – from faculty, staff and leaders at all levels across UMKC, and the spirit, the willingness, and the generosity people bring to this work.
  • A strong desire from individuals at all levels throughout UMKC to use data to engage in continuous quality improvement.
  • We continue to face pressures given the context of higher education within our region and state, and we all continue to be extremely stressed.
  • We have a strong foundation, an impressive strategic plan to lead our work as we move into our future, and our work is still nascent, still somewhat fragile, and it includes many initiatives and we have many moving parts.
  • The team was truly impressed with the culture of respect and appreciation we have at UMKC. Team members were especially impressed with how quick so many people were to recognize and give shout-outs to the work of others, to point to what someone else has done, how natural and a part of our culture it is for that to occur, and they admonished us to keep stoking this flame because it’s so powerful.

It will likely take a couple of months before we receive more complete information on next steps regarding our reaccreditation. I continue to be optimistic that we will receive a fairly positive report when that time comes.

In the meantime, please take a moment to let these messages from the site visit team soak in, to recognize the great work that we have done, to give yourself a nod, and to thank your colleagues for such tremendous accomplishments. Then, as always, I know we’ll all get back to our important work.

I myself simply couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve done at UMKC, and of what we represent. I am extremely grateful to each and every one of our colleagues, our students and our community members who make up this amazing institution.

It is truly an honor to serve as Provost of UMKC.



 Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Professor, Department of Management, Henry W. Bloch School of Management


Announcement of Higher Learning Commission Site Visit

November 21, 2019
Dear Colleagues,

The upcoming site visit with our peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission is drawing near. This visit, scheduled for December 2 and 3, will play a critical role in renewing our accreditation – an imperative for our mission of teaching, research and service.

In order to prepare for this important event, I am inviting our entire university community to review our final assurance argument.

I also want to urge as many members of our community as possible to participate in the open forums that will be part of the site visit. The schedule for the open forums is included below. If the HLC Peer Review Team Chair makes any changes to the schedule, the changes will be updated on the UMKC accreditation website.

Open Forum:  Criterion 1 & 2 (Mission & Integrity)
Monday, December 2
9:45-10:30 am, Student Union 401 AD

Open Forum:  Criterion 3 & 4 (Teaching & Learning)
Monday, December 2
2:15-3:00 pm, Student Union 401 AD

Open Forum:  Criterion 5 (Finances & Planning)
Tuesday, December 3
9:30-10:15 am, Student Union 401 AD

The HLC Site Team Chair has requested that a special invitation be sent informing you of two special times for “drop in” visits:

Monday, December 2
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Administrative Center – Swope Park Room

Tuesday, December 3
8:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Administrative Center – Swope Park Room

I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of this process. Accreditation holds our university to a high standard of quality. It provides confirmation that we are living up to our promise to offer students the best educational experience possible. As an accredited university, we are able to attract more research funding and recruit renowned faculty to teach and discover here at UMKC. Finally, our value to the community we serve is dependent upon our accreditation; it is how our constituents certify our position as a leader in learning. More information, including a summary of our assurance argument, study guide and a 5-episode podcast to prepare for the site visit, can be found at our accreditation page.

I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the dedicated faculty and staff who have been working toward this site visit for more than two years. Your work has been vitally important, and done with skill, care and commitment.


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Professor of Management

HLC Featured in UNews Article

UNews reporter Caleb Wilson interviewed HLC cochair Ken Novak for an article published today in UNews: UMKC to undergo accreditation evaluation

screen shot of article on UNews website
Screen shot of article on UNews website


There is an accidental misquote.

“I think that UMKC is in very good shape when it comes to whether our accreditation is going to be renewed. We should be very confident and proud,” said Novak. “I do not see anything that might be considered fatal, where there’s going to have to be drastic steps. But at the same time, I do not believe there is room for compliance  complacency.”

Novak does not believe there is room for complacency. Which is why the HLC team is working to engage UMKC faculty, staff, and students this fall.



UMKC is preparing for the Higher Learning Commission’s comprehensive evaluation of our university and programs this fall, culminating with a site visit Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. A team of faculty, staff and administrators are working hard at assembling our assurance statement and evidence. Accreditation is an opportunity for the university to see how we measure up to quality standards.

In early October UMKC students will receive an email asking them to take a short student opinion survey (approximately five minutes). This opinion survey is one of two ways the Higher Learning Commission plans to hear from students about their experiences at UMKC. The other will be to talk with them during their visit. The survey link will be active Oct. 7 through Oct. 16.

Please encourage students you know to take the survey. If they have questions about it, please talk with them about our accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.


HLC Road Show

Members of the HLC Executive Committee are visiting a meeting near you. We are sharing updates and important information about the upcoming comprehensive evaluation site visit.

We are happy to present at your department or division meeting. If you would like members of the committee to speak at your meeting, please contact either Ken Novak or Alexis Petri.

HLC Road Show PowerPoint

HLC Key Talking Points5 (aka Ken’s Green Sheet)

HLC Open Forum – May 2

umkc logo with blue background

Dear Colleagues:

UMKC needs your engagement in the accreditation process for our university.

If you were unable to participate in our first open forum earlier this Spring, please join me and members of our Higher Learning Commission team for our second open forum on Thursday, May 2 at 10:00 am in the Health Sciences Building #4301, as we seek your input and answer your questions about our assurance argument and evidence collection.

I know you are busy, and still I hope you will make time to attend. Your involvement and contributions are critical to the reaffirmation of UMKC’s HLC accreditation.

The forum will enhance your awareness of how we strive for campus-wide excellence, even as you work toward excellence in your own unit. Accreditation holds our university to a high standard of quality and provides confirmation that we are living up to our promise to students: to offer them the best educational experience possible. Furthermore, as an accredited university, we are able to generate more research dollars and recruit renowned faculty to teach and discover here at UMKC. Finally, our value to the community we serve is dependent upon our accreditation; it is how our constituents certify our position as a leader in learning.

Each of us has a part to play in ensuring that we are complying with the standards we have set for ourselves and the university. Your participation is critical to ensuring we are putting our best foot forward.

In Fall 2017, I asked Cindy Pemberton and Ken Novak to serve as co-chairs of UMKC’s HLC Accreditation Steering Team, and I asked more than 50 of our colleagues to work on preparing UMKC for our upcoming HLC site visit on December 2 and 3, 2019.

I am deeply grateful to this group for having done the heavy lifting and, at times, tedious work over the past 18 months to gather evidence and craft assurance arguments for the HLC reviewers.

More information can be found at https://info.umkc.edu/accreditation/hlc/

Thank you for considering this request, and thanks again to the co-chairs, the Steering Team, committee members, and to university leaders who have been working so hard on this initiative.

I look forward to seeing you this Thursday, May 2 at 10:00 am in HSB #4301.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Professor of Management


slide deck:  May 2 2019__HLC Town Hall Presentation

Bulle-TEN Issue 1 of 10

logo for Bulle-TEN which is a banner in UMKC colors

  1. Welcome to Bulle-TEN, a ten-issue newsletter designed to help you prepare for UMKC’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation comprehensive evaluation and institutional site visit. Each issue will consist of ten bits of information, announcements, resources, and invitations to participate.
  2. Mark your calendars for the institutional site visit, December 2 and 3, 2019. As the visit nears, HLC Co-Chairs will make specific requests for meetings and/or serving as a resource.
  3. What is HLC and why does it matter? Come find out at 1 of 2 town hall events. 1) Wednesday, March 6 in Pierson Auditorium from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 2) Thursday, May 2 in the Health Sciences Building, Room 4301, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
  4. Student success is a shared responsibility. Come to one of three forums to learn more about the student success model and help name it. 1) Wednesday, February 27: Volker Campus, Student Union, Room 401AD, 3-4 p.m. 2) Thursday, February 28: Volker Campus, Student Union, Room 401AD, 8:30-9:30 a.m. 3) Friday, March 8, Student Success Model (Rescheduled from 2/20) – Health Sciences Campus HSB #3301.
  5. It’s never too early to tidy your website. Around April, HLC will begin identifying the peer review team who will conduct our site visit in December. The first thing peer reviewers will do is visit our website. Please help out by making sure your website is up-to-date.
  6. Website search woes. While on the topic of the UMKC website, MCOMM will be promoting specific URLs and search terms so that the latest pages and most accurate information comes to the top of the search. If there are pages that you have difficulty finding, please let Alexis know by completing this online form.
  7. Members of the HLC Criterion Committees are currently revising assurance arguments. They may be contacting you for evidence such as meeting summaries or reports. Upcoming due date for revised assurance argument: April 1, 2019
  8. Resource: HLC’s Assumed Practices. “Foundational to the Criteria and Core Components is a set of practices shared by institutions of higher education in the United States. Unlike Criteria and Core Components, these Assumed Practices are (1) generally matters to be determined as facts, rather than matters requiring professional judgment and (2) unlikely to vary by institutional mission or context.”
  9. Resource: HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.  HLC has 5 criteria and federal compliance against which the peer reviewers will evaluate UMKC. For over a year now, committee work groups have been reviewing the criteria and preparing an assurance argument based on evidence.
  10. Resource: UMKC Accreditation website.

Thank you,

HLC Co-Chairs: Cindy Pemberton, PhD and Ken Novak, PhD

HLC Lead Assurance Argument Writer: Alexis Petri, EdD

issue 1. tags: hlc, umkc website, student success, resources